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President Director of Garuda Indonesia Fired amid Smuggling Allegations

Smuggling in Garuda Indonesia

The President Director of Garuda Indonesia, I Gusti Ngurah Askhara, or Ari Ashkara, has been removed from his position.

His sacking is due to customs and excise aofficers uncovering a Harley Davidson motorcycle and two Brompton bicycles illegally smuggled into Indonesia using one of the airline’s newest fleet at the PT Garuda Maintenance Facility (GMF) hangar.

“Ari Ashkara had given instructions to find the classic Harley Davidson 1972 motorcycle in 2018. He has also made a transfer to the personal account in the name of initials IJ, Finance Manager of Garuda Indonesia, in Amsterdam,” said The Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Erick Thohir.

Public Relations Officer of Customs and Excise, Deni Surajntoro claimed that the goods were found when an officer checked a plane hangar owned by PT GMF at Soekarno-Hatta Airport.
“Garuda Indonesia notified the customs and excise department that their aircraft was arriving from the airbus factory in France. The aircraft carried 10 crew members, according to the General Declaration crew list, and 22 passengers, according to the passenger manifest document,” said Deni.

Based on the results of the inspection, the cabin of the cockpit and passengers were not found to be violating customs. In addition, there was also no other cargo items reported by Garuda Indonesia.

“However, the aircraft’s hull check – where passenger baggage is stored – had the passenger baggage and 18 boxes that overall had a claim tag as passengers’ baggage,” he said.

Once found, the officers immediately dismantled the luggage and the boxes. Only personal belongings owned by the passengers were found. However, the 18 boxes carried 15 claim bags on behalf of the initials SAS, which contained spare parts of a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Moreover, the officers also found three claim tags belonging to the initials LS, containing two units of Brompton bicycles along with other bicycle accessories.

The Directorate General of Customs and Excise (DGCE) of the Ministry of Finance revealed that the Harley Davidson motorcycle was indeed used, based on the visibly outdated spare parts.
The import of used goods is governed by the regulation of the Ministry of Trade (PERMENDAG) number 76 Year 2019, on the provisions of the import of capital goods are in new condition (BMTB). In this case, Indonesia experienced a loss worth Rp1.5 billion.

“Based on the results of the examination of the 18 boxes found in the hull of the new Garuda Indonesia aircraft type Airbus A330-900 NEO, the Harley Davidson Motor Year 1972 edition is valued at Rp800million. As for the Brompton bicycles, they are estimated to be Rp50-60million per unit. Thus, the total loss of the country’s potential is Rp532million to Rp1.5billion,” said the Minister of Finance, Mulyani Indrawati.

She added that SAS claimed the goods were purchased through eBay. However, the Directorate General of Customs and Excise (DGCE) of the Ministry of Finance did not find the contact of the seller from eBay. SAS also made a transfer to his wife’s account for three times up to Rp50 million.

“We will continue to investigate because as far as we’re concerned, SAS doesn’t have a motorcycle hobby, he’s a bike enthusiast,” the minister said.

Source: Kompas
Image: San Diego Union Tribune

See: Garuda Indonesia Closed Several Airports in Indonesia

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